Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A New Food Chat/Competition Show, The Feed, Premieres Tomorrow Night

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

  • A&E
If you’re one of those people who believe that Guy Fieri has ruined The Food Network, there are plenty of alternatives to the pioneering cable channel and its onslaught of shows featuring the king of donkey sauce. The Cooking Channel and PBS are helping to fill the void of good old-fashioned cooking shows, and viewers can find plenty of other food-centric shows on Bravo, The Travel Channel and some other networks. A new channel, FYI (formerly the Bio channel; parent company A&E says that the “I” stands for inspiration, imagination, or innovation) also has a few food-related yet Fieri-less shows, including The World Food Championships and Epic Meal Empire. FYI's latest show, The Feed, premieres this Thursday.

The Feed features Gail Simmons (of Food & Wine and Top Chef), chef Marcus Samuelsson and comedian/food writer Max Silvestri, along with special guests, to explore the latest food trends in a roundtable, chat-show-style format filmed before a live audience. The show then adds a competition element when the three hosts challenge each other with their takes on a particular trend (the competition segments are filmed, not live).

In the premiere, their first challenge is to create the best mash-up, a quest inspired by the cronut (a mash-up of a croissant and doughnut). The inclusion of a comedian ensures that the show is playful and light, yet a guest appearance by chef (and cronut innovator) Dominique Ansel, followed by a visit to Murray’s cheese shop in New York to learn about cheese curds, helps give the show some substance.

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Celebrate 16 Suds-Loving Years with the Flying Saucer

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 6:57 AM

With the craft beer boom of late, I think sometimes we forget about the role of Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in introducing many Nashvillians to their first favorite beers that weren't made by Bud/Miller/Coors. Since 1998, the long line of taps at the Flying Saucer has offered beers from across the country and around the world. The convivial beer hall serves bar snacks and sandwiches and frequently features live entertainment as well.

This Friday, Aug. 22, they'll be celebrating 16 years of fun with a big old bash, and you're invited. Kicking off at 8 p.m., the party will harken back to the decade of the Saucer's opening with a '90s theme night. A DJ will be playing the hits of the era and taking requests, so Sugar Ray can look forward to some more royalty checks in the mailbox.

There will also be an air-guitar contest and multiple special beer tappings throughout the night. The party runs until midnight and with free admission for all, well, all folks who are 21 and older. Drop by and congratulate the Saucer staff on years of great beer.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Music City Food + Wine Fest Will Host 30 Local Chefs in Grand Tasting Tent

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Josh Habiger whips up samples of maple-thyme custard with bacon dipping chip at last years fest
  • Jen Creed/MusicCityFW on Facebook
  • Josh Habiger whips up samples of maple-thyme custard with bacon dipping chip at last year's fest.
As the Music City Food + Wine Festival (formerly Music City Eats) draws closer to its second annual staging downtown, it has released one of the more salient details — the schedule of well-regarded local chefs who will serve up samples for festivalgoers under the tents labeled The Grand Taste.

More than 30 local folks have signed up to participate. Different chefs will be featured on each of the festival's two days:

Saturday, Sept. 20

Kahlil Arnold (Arnold’s Country Kitchen); Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker); Larry Carlile (Silo); Chris Carter & James Peisker (Porter Road Butcher); Lisa Donovan (Buttermilk Road); Matt Farley (The Southern Steak & Oyster and The Acme); Giovanni Francescotti (Giovanni Ristorante); Sarah Gavigan (Otaku South); Robert Grace (Kayne Prime); Hal M. Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table); Todd Alan Martin (The Treehouse); Trevor Moran (The Catbird Seat); Barclay Stratton (Merchants Restaurant); Tandy Wilson (City House); and Karl Worley (Biscuit Love Truck).

Sunday, Sept. 21

Roderick Bailey (The Silly Goose); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); Tyler Brown (Capitol Grille); Trey Cioccia (The Farm House); Daniel Dillingham & George Harvell (Loveless Cafe); Jay Flatley (Tavern); Josh Habiger (Pinewood Social); Betsy Johnston (Adele’s by Jonathan Waxman); John Lasater (Hattie B’s); Andrew Little (Josephine); Pat Martin (Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint); Margot McCormack (Margot Café & Marché); Arnold Myint; Deb Paquette (Etch); Nick Pellegrino (Mangia Nashville); and Jake Strang (1808 Grille, Hutton Hotel).

Additional participants at The Grand Taste tents, according to the festival's announcement:

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Enjoy a Sunset Symphony at Natchez Hills Vineyard

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Located just about 45 minutes off I-65 (providing you can get south of Franklin somehow), Natchez Hills Vineyard is a lovely little venue near Hampshire, Tenn. The Columbia Breakfast Rotary Club invites you to head down for a visit on Saturday, Sept. 13, for an event they're calling "Sunset Symphony."

Admission is $35 and the gates will open at 5 p.m. for an evening that includes dinner, souvenir wine glass, wine tasting, entertainment and parking. The music will be provided by The Big Thrill band, who will take the stage at 8 p.m. performing music crossing the genres of big band, rock and pop. There will also be a silent auction with travel and gift items to raise money for causes such as a scholarship fund for Maury County high school students, and the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County.

Local artisans will be selling their wares, and food and wine will be available for sale, so no outside food or drink is allowed. For more info or to buy tickets, visit the event's website.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Ken's Sushi Building Smashed; New Ken's Sushi Location Launches

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

  • Photo: Randolph Blake
If you're a fan of longtime Division Street restaurant Ken's Sushi, you may feel a pang of sadness at this photo of vandalism on the site, sent in by Scene reader Randolph Blake.

The original Ken's location is part of a swath of Midtown being razed to clear the way for a massive 17-story development from Indiana's Buckingham Cos., which is slated to include a hotel and residential, office, restaurant and retail spaces.

The empty Ken's Sushi building at 2007 Division St. is set for demolition; it's currently fenced off and has become the target of vandalism, including the smashed front window.

Meanwhile, Ken's Sushi lives on in a new location. Owner Kenji “Ken” Ohno originally targeted East Nashville for the new spot, but that plan fell through (that space at 923 Main St. is now being taken over by Koi Sushi & Thai).

Instead, Ken's Sushi opened Aug. 1 at 1108 Murfreesboro Pike, near Thompson Lane. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Composting Saves Landfill Space, Enriches Gardens and Farms, and Helps the Environment

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Years ago, when Metro gave me my very own Curby, I decided to turn my old garbage can into a composter. I’ve been collecting and tossing my kitchen scraps in there and only occasionally removing some compost to enrich the garden soil, so it’s now about 75 percent full. And we’re about to move. So, I have to: a) figure out what to do with what’s in the bin currently; and b) stop adding more to it. After years of composting, it feels so wrong to flush scraps down the disposal or toss them in the trash.

It made me remember what it was like to work in food service and see tons of food — some of it completely untouched — get tossed in the garbage every day. If a roll goes out to a table and isn’t eaten, it has to go into the trash. I saw so much food waste. I know some restaurants donate their prepared but unserved food to various organizations, but I figure there’s still plenty of food that can’t be donated that still goes into the trash.

It so happens that a couple of weeks ago, I read a piece on NPR’s blog, The Salt, reporting that in Massachusetts, the government is working to address this problem, starting with the biggest producers of food waste: hospitals, schools and groceries. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for a ban on food waste disposal for institutions that produce more than a ton of food waste per week.

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Get Happy at Sinema

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Now that they've been open for almost two months, the folks at Sinema are hitting their stride. Having featured chef Dale Levitski's creative cuisine to draw in the dining crowd, now they want to get your tail in a bar stool with a series of new happy hour deals every Monday through Thursday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs lounge.

The deals change daily, with rotating craft cocktail specials and $1 off well drinks and all beers on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesdays are the best deal of the week, with well drinks and domestic bottled beers specially priced at two-for-one from 4:30 p.m. until close. Levitski has designed a special "concessions menu" to accompany the drinks in the upstairs lounge. Playful dishes that don't require silverware to eat mean diners can share plates while they enjoy their drinks.

Social Media Monday will feature special deals that you can find out about only by watching the restaurant's updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The kitchen is also offering the equivalent of combo meals with food and drink pairings offered at discounted prices. Currently, Belgian Thursday offers mussels, frites and a Stella Artois for just $18. (Apparently they have forgotten that we're still supposed to be angry at the Belgians after they knocked us out of the World Cup.)

2600 Franklin Pike

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Friday, August 15, 2014

A Sign and Some Menu Items Revealed at the New Sutler

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Driving down Franklin Road, we saw that there's now a sign up at The Sutler, an indication that maybe they'll make the "summer" opening they've promised. (We'll see. There's no date set yet.)

At any rate, they're starting to make some of the menu public.

From The Sutler:

Hot dog in pinto bean dunk with a watermelon mescal cocktail theyre calling a field party.
  • Hot dog in pinto bean dunk with a watermelon mescal cocktail they're calling a "field party."
Short Rib Hot Dog: Porter Road Butcher dog, pork fat kraut, stout cumin mustard, roasted green chile pinto bean dunk

Brussel Sprout Hash​: crispy leaves, crème fraiche whipped yukons, crunchy cheddar—jack crumbles, shallot chips

Potted Smoke​: 24 hour smoked brisket tip and pork butt confit with grilled crusty bread for spreading

Fried Pickle Bash​: spicy kosher dill pickle chips & green tomatoes, tabasco remoulade and Steens Cane Syrup mignonette

The Sutler's chef will be Nick Seabergh, most recently at Alchemy in Memphis. He spent time at Herbsaint in New Orleans with Donald Link, and City Grocery in Oxford, Miss., with John Currence. We've been promised the rest of the menu lineup when it's ready, but for now Seabergh is testing and tweaking his take on bar food. The one thing we've had a chance to try, a version of the popped crack corn, had caramel, jalapeno, smoked salt and bacon on it. It was a lot of fun.

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You Know You Love Ham, Now Read All About It in New Cookbook

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Country ham is such a wonderful invention. The delicious marriage of science and art comes together in the lovely funky salty flavors of a well-cured ham, a fortunate side effect of the process that was originally developed to help folks preserve meat to get them through long periods without the benefit of refrigeration.

City hams are fine and dandy for a sandwich, but the artful techniques of country ham-making raise it far above a boiled leg in the eyes and palates of food aficionados. I remember sending a Loveless Cafe gift basket to a customer above the Mason/Dixon line who called to thank me, but complained, "The jams were great, but we had to throw away that ham because something was wrong with it. It was really salty." Bless his heart.

Louisville-based food writer Steve Coomes has recently written an exhaustive treatise on the subject with his book Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt and Smoke. No longer the simple food of the common folk, country ham is featured in upscale restaurants all across the country, and curing experts like Allan Benton are respected as master purveyors by notable chefs like David Chang and Sean Brock.

Coomes shares the history and process of ham curing as well as profiles of some of the artisans who are producing the closest thing that America has to the legendary jamón Iberico, which can cost as much as $100/pound if you import it from Spain. In addition to Allan Benton, two other notable Tennesseans are profiled who will happily sell you their wares for a lot less than that.

Bob Woods of The Hamery in Murfreesboro calls country ham “hillbilly prosciutto” and takes the pun a step further by naming his premium product “Tennshoetoe." Dry-cured and hung in a smokehouse for 18 moths, Tennshoetoe is a delicious treat that you can buy online or at The Hamery's office.

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Open Thread — Listage: Southern Living Loves Nashville, Bon Appétit Does Not

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 6:55 AM

Crudo from The 404 Kitchen
  • Crudo from The 404 Kitchen
Fellow residents of It City, we have been listed again. But it appears that one publication seems to understand that Nashville's restaurant scene is booming, while another ignores it altogether.

On the one hand, we have Southern Living, which ranked eight Nashville restaurants among it's Top 100 in the South.

On the other hand we have Bon Appétit, which had zero Nashville restaurants in its 50 Nominees for America's Best New Restaurants, compiled by Andrew Knowlton.

What gives?

Let's start with the Southern Living piece.

Jennifer Cole names The 404 Kitchen, Capitol Grille, The Catbird Seat, City House, Husk, Lockeland Table, Pinewood Social, and Rolf and Daughters. Interestingly, she puts 404 at No. 3 on the whole list. We reviewed it last November and loved it.

Having eight restaurants on the list means we tied with Atlanta for second, behind only Charleston, which had 10 places listed.

Meanwhile, Knowlton seems to have lost Nashville's number this year after putting Rolf and Daughters in the list of new spots last year. So, the new 404 can be No. 3 overallnew restaurant (see Jen Cole's comment below) in Southern Living but not make the top 50 best new places in Bon Appétit? Am I missing something here?

(Of course Knowlton once recommended Chicago's Next in print before he had ever eaten there — its opening was delayed past his magazine deadline and he included it anyway — so who knows.)

Update 11:00 a.m.: It's probably worth noting that Southern Living also did a "ones to watch" list which included the newly opened Sinema in The Melrose.

Lists were made to argue over, so please commence arguing about this or anything else on your mind, Open Threaders:

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